Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name Actually Smells Sweeter

I originally heard about this last week, but then I read later that it wasn’t true. Apparently it is true after all.

So what’s the big news? Well, our government has decided that they are going to stop using the phrase “war on terror”.

Obama Team Drops "War on Terror" Rhetoric

Sounds like good news, doesn’t it? After all, how often have we heard that lame phrase thrown around again and again while it was used to justify anything & everything that our government saw fit to cram down our throats in the interests of “protecting its citizens”?

The problem is, its not good news. Nothing has changed. Nothing at all. Our soldiers are still in Iraq & Afghanistan, our civil rights continue to be destroyed, and the policies that were created – and continue to be created – under the tired ruse of the “war on terror” have neither changed nor slowed down.

The “war on terror” has not ended; all that is happening is that it will now be called something else.

Apparently that makes it better somehow. I guess it’s supposed to smell sweeter.

Well, I sure smell something, but it ain’t no rose.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Here There Be Monsters

* Yesterday a man in North Carolina went on a killing spree at a nursing home.

* Last week another man went on a murder rampage in Alabama.

* A man in Austria imprisons his own daughter in his basement for 24 years, raping her repeatedly and fathering 7 children over that time (His wife claims she knew nothing).

* A 17 year old boy guns down his former classmates at a school in Germany . . .

* A student kills over 30 at Virginia Tech . . .

* A mother drowns her 4 children in the bathtub . . .

* A man enters an Amish school in Pennsylvania and murders 5 little girls . . .

What kind of people do these things? What could possibly be going on inside of their heads to think that doing things like this makes any sort of sense?

The Book of Mark is the shortest – and probably the least “popular” – of the four Gospels. It contains only 16 chapters. That’s not a lot of real estate to write down everything you would want future generations to know about the life of Jesus.

So it’s interesting to me that the author would devote fully one half of one of those precious 16 chapters to relate a story about an encounter that Jesus had with a man possessed by a group of demons that called themselves “Legion”.

Why devote so much space to this single encounter with this one particular demoniac? I have to believe the author did it because the encounter left such a profound impact on those who witnessed it. Could we, for instance, describe 9/11 in one or two sentences? Probably not. We would devote some additional time to relate what happened on that particular day.

I think that’s what happened with Legion. Although the Bible is full of demons and demon possessions, the magnitude of the encounter with Legion apparently stood well apart from the rest.

We don’t believe in demons anymore, do we? Even Christians don’t really take them seriously. We still use some of the catch-phrases that have been handed down to us through the years. We say things like “He's struggling with his demons” when we talk about addictions & vices, and we frequently still wonder “What possessed you to do such a thing?”. But let’s face it, nobody saying those things is seriously talking about demons or possession. We don’t believe in those things anymore.

Why not?

Because our modern world has explained those things away. People are not possessed by demons; that’s silly. We know now that they have “chemical imbalances” and are “mentally disturbed”. Scientists have researched these things for us.

We have psychopaths, sociopaths, psychotics, and neurotics. People suffer from anger complexes and bi-polar disorders and chronic depression and suicidal tendencies. We have split-personalities, multiple personalities, full-blown schizophrenics and the terminally insane.

Not a demon in the bunch!

Funny that we should believe what these scientists tell us without a second thought, because these are also the same people who tell us that there is no God either. The logic is easy to see. I mean, if God doesn’t exists, you certainly can’t have a bunch of demons running around. That would be kind of like telling people that automobiles don’t exist and then having to try and explain what all of the gas stations are for.

Curious too that although our venerable scientific community has now “explained away” all of these conditions with fancy names & diagnoses, they still have no idea why any of them occur in the first place, why they affect some people but not others, what is really going on inside of these people’s heads, or how to cure any of them.

Does that really sound any less ridiculous than the thought of demons?

Maybe that’s the real issue here; that we just don’t like the thought of demons, so we are more than ready to accept any other explanation that appears to put a sense of control in our hands. After all, an unseen, malevolent demon that can possess our minds and manipulate our actions is a whole lot scarier to think about than a sterile, clinical diagnosis.

I don’t know much, but I know this: Ignoring something because we don’t want it to be true doesn’t make it go away. Maybe we shouldn’t be quite so quick to relegate demons to the rubbish pile of myth and superstition. Maybe, just maybe, we should give them a little more thought.

Meanwhile . . .

* Yesterday in Massachusetts, a man stabbed his 17 year old sister to death and then decapitated his 5 year old sister before being shot to death by police . . .

* A Kansas man binds, tortures, and kills 10 people over a twenty year period . . .

* A sleeping passenger on a bus in Canada is stabbed to death, beheaded, and partially consumed . . .

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Idiots in the Mist

Forget the Gorillas; we’ve got these guys . . .

Study: Lots of Red Meat Increases Mortality Risk

I saw the above title for a news article a couple of days ago. I only embedded the link to prove that I didn’t just make it up. Please don’t bother reading it; when the title is this stupid, who really needs to know what they have to say?

I always recommend that people know the definition of a word before using it. Here are all of the definitions of “mortality” straight from Merriam-Webster:

1: the quality or state of being mortal
2: the death of large numbers (as of people or animals)
3 archaic : death
4: the human race
5 a: the number of deaths in a given time or place b: the proportion of deaths to population c: the number lost or the rate of loss or failure

The bottom line is that it really doesn’t matter which definition you choose; your “mortality risk” is pretty much going to be 100% no matter what you do. As the old saying goes, “Nobody gets out alive.”

Here’s another beauty: Why Toddlers Don’t Do As Their Told

Check out some of these groundbreaking observations from this story:

"There is a lot of work in the field of cognitive development that focuses on how kids are basically little versions of adults trying to do the same things adults do, but they're just not as good at it yet.”

Really? I never would have guessed.

“ . . . 3-year-olds neither plan for the future nor live completely in the present.”

GET OUT. Are you serious?

"If you just repeat something again and again that requires your young child to prepare for something in advance, that is not likely to be effective," Munakata said. "What would be more effective would be to somehow try to trigger this reactive function. So don't do something that requires them to plan ahead in their mind, but rather try to highlight the conflict that they are going to face. Perhaps you could say something like 'I know you don't want to take your coat now, but when you're standing in the yard shivering later, remember that you can get your coat from your bedroom."

Um . . . this may sound crazy, but how about you just put a coat on them when it’s cold outside instead of trying to REASON with them? Who's the adult here?

You want to know the real reason why toddlers don’t do as their told? Because they’re TODDLERS.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. – Abraham Lincoln


I first heard about “water rights” while watching the documentary “The Future of Food” a few years ago. It was hard for me to believe that anyone could “own” rain, or that it could be illegal for you to collect the water that falls from the sky and store it for later use.

Part of me thought that it must just be a story taken out of context. Conspiracy theories, paranoia, and all that. In my heart, though, I somehow knew it was too crazy not to be true.

Several months ago the subject came up again on a more (trusted?) mainstream media outlet; a local TV station in Utah. I made a quick mention of it in a post several months ago.

Still seems crazy though, right? I mean, how can the rainwater that falls on my yard belong to someone else? It's RAIN.

If this is the first time you have ever heard of such a crazy thing, I can understand if you don’t take my word for it. I can also understand if you don’t have faith in a little known movie documentary. And let’s face it, local TV news stations have been know to just plain goof up.

Perhaps an article in the Wall Street Journal would have a little more credibility. After all, I'm not sure how much more "mainstream" you can get than the WSJ. Here are some selected excerpts from Out West, Catching Raindrops Can Make You an Outlaw:

It is, in fact, illegal in Colorado to collect rainwater. State law is vague about the penalties, except to say that violators can be taken to court and ordered to pay damages.

Vast quantities of river water are made available, free of charge, to a variety of public and private interests, including oil companies, ski resorts, fire districts and breweries. The international food conglomerate Nestlé has applied for a permit to draw water from a Colorado aquifer and sell it in plastic bottles under its Arrowhead brand.

Those appropriations are made under a seniority system based on first-come first-serve claims staked out as far back as the 1850s. Colorado law explicitly states that every drop of moisture suspended in the atmosphere must be divvied up according to those claims.

Setting a barrel on the lawn to recycle rain "sounds nice and efficient, but in my opinion, under Colorado law, that is theft," says Glenn Porzak, a lawyer who specializes in water-rights claims. "That rainwater is spoken for."

I'm sure it is. I just don't remember ever being given the option to make my claim. Do you?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Laughter Speaks Louder Than Words

Just a little bit of humor for your Monday morning . . .

Every Sunday morning I sit next to a man named Bill in our Sunday School class. Bill was a lifetime Marine; he served combat tours in Korea and his body bears the scars. He’s old and has some trouble moving around. His body has its good days and its bad days. But Bill’s mind is still sharp as a tack, and he’s never lost his sense of humor.

Yesterday we were studying Nehemiah; specifically, the problems that the people of Jerusalem were confronting Nehemiah with as he was leading them to rebuild the city. Their problems sounded much like our own today; the fruits of their labor were overtaxed, their lands were mortgaged, their families were hungry and struggling.

Our Sunday School teacher then made a reference to Joseph by asking “What did Joseph do when hard times hit Egypt?”

Without the slightest hesitation and in perfect dead-pan form, Bill said, “He passed a stimulus package.”

The entire class erupted in laughter.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Why We Home School

Update 3/18/09: Upon reflection of the below post, I felt it necessary to clarify that it is not an indictment against the people involved in the public school system, the vast majority of which are good teachers who are very committed to their work. It is the system itself that is at fault; it's big, bloated, political, and driven by money (as most government institutions are). The teachers and students alike are both simply victims of an outdated, monolithic structure that has been ordained to be - like so many other things - "too big to fail."

People involved in the Home Schooling community frequently see news stories like the one below (emphasis mine on bolded portions):

Raleigh, N.C. — A judge in Wake County said three Raleigh children need to switch from home school to public school. Judge Ned Mangum is presiding over divorce proceeding of the children's parents, Thomas and Venessa Mills.

Venessa Mills was in the fourth year of home schooling her children who are 10, 11 and 12 years old. They have tested two years above their grade levels, she said.

"We have math, reading; we have grammar, science, music,” Venessa Mills said.

Her lessons also have a religious slant, which the judge said was the root of the problem.

Entire Article Here: Wake judge orders home schoolers into public classrooms

People who are “against” home schooling generally fall into one of two categories: they either simply do not understand it, or they do understand it and have something to lose.

We pulled all of our kids out of public school in 2001 and have been home schooling ever since. Why? Here are just a few reasons:

A diverse, top-quality, balanced education. You don’t have to look far in any school system to see graduating seniors tripping over common 3 & 4 syllable words. Forget that they have no idea what those words mean, they can’t even pronounce them after 12 years of public schooling. And forget mathematics. Most kids in public school (at any grade level) don’t even have a basic grasp of their times tables. My children do not have those problems.

No public school can provide my children with a 1:2 teacher/student ratio.

I never have to ask my kids “What did you learn today?”; I always know exactly what they’ve learned.

My kid’s free time is not wasted doing hours & hours of pointless “homework” each day; when they’re done with their lessons for the day, they’re done. They have time to be kids. An average public school day has 6 “1- hour” classes. Each of those “hours” is actually only 50 minutes, since the kids get 10 minutes to move from one class to another. At least 10 more minutes of each class is then wasted on roll calls, handing in assignments, shuffling books, passing out papers, addressing disciplinary problems, etc. Out of each “1-hour” class, the best you can hope for is maybe 40 minutes of actual teaching. From my own public school experience, I know that it is actually more like 20 – 30 minutes, but for sake of argument we’ll say 40 minutes. From the time your children step on the bus at 7:00 a.m. to the time they step off at 4:00 p.m. (that was my schedule as a boy), 9 hours have elapsed, of which a grand total of only 4 hours (max) was actually spent “learning” anything.

My kid’s don’t come home with the bad language, habits, and attitudes of children that I would not in any other circumstance allow them to be around. The morals, ethics, & integrity of my children are defined by their parents, not by a government approved curriculum or the other kids they would be influenced by in a public school environment (the vast majority of which I neither know nor would want to know).

I never have to worry about teachers destroying the self-esteem of my children. My 10th grade AP English teacher Mrs. Banks once told me – in front of the entire class – that I didn’t deserve to be there. Her reasoning was that I never did any of the assigned homework and did not put forth any effort at all in her class, which was true. I guess she never saw the irony in the fact that I could put forth absolutely no effort whatsoever in her advanced placement English class and still pass it easily with a high “C” average. I wasn't stupid; I was bored.

No one will ever attempt to sell drugs to my kids in my home.

No one will ever bully my kids in my home.

I don’t have to worry about my children being the victims of a school shooting or terrorist attack.

My children never have to spend time outside in the dark, rain, and/or cold waiting for a school bus to show up.

There is no “mad dash” every morning to get the kids up, find the “lost shoe”, and get them out the door.

I can teach the "hard" subjects better than public schools can. When I graduated from high school, I could not do even simple algebraic problems. If you showed me “3x = 12” and told me to solve for “x”, I literally could not do it. And that was after 2 years of high school Algebra and a year of Geometry, which I passed. I eventually learned Algebra, but not because of anything that happened in a government school. Both of my kids already know more Algebra than I did when I graduated, and they’re not even in “high school” yet. Even if you aren't very familiar with them, with the resources available today, teaching “hard” subjects is no trouble at all.

The list goes on and on; I can debate every point, and win. In fact, there is nothing that public schools can do to educate our children that Catherine & I can't do better. And the school systems know this because they are continually seeing home schooled students out-perform public school students. That’s why the only card they ever seriously throw into play is this one:

What about socialization?

Okay. Let’s talk about socialization. My kids are polite, articulate, & well-mannered. Not only do they have no trouble at all “socializing” with other kids their age (and, in fact, “socialize” better than their public school peers), but they also have no trouble at all holding an intelligent conversation with an adult (which none of the “socialized” public school kids can adequately do at all).

The bottom line is that the public school system is a broken institution. They’re losing, and they know it. Every child that leaves the public school system to be taught at home is a threat. They’re losing money. They’re losing credibility. And they’re also losing what that judge in the article above is really worried about: the ability to teach my children what they’re supposed to think.

As Home Schooling parents, we don’t just teach our kids what to think, we teach them how to think.

Some may find that thought a little unsettling.

Note: Five or six years ago I came across a very thought provoking essay written by Paul Graham in which he examined public schools from his perspective as a product of the system. I highly recommend reading it: Why Nerds Are Unpopular

Friday, March 13, 2009

Another Candidate for the Terrorist Watch List

See if you can guess the name of the man who spoke these words:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”

“The said constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”

“It is a very great mistake to imagine that the object of loyalty is the authority and interest of one individual man, however dignified by the applause or enriched by the success of popular actions.”

“The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”

“How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!”

So, what kind of troublemaking, rabble-rousing, domestic terrorist would utter such incendiary statements?

Samuel Adams.

It’s very interesting to read the words of true patriotic men like Sam Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Patrick Henry, and all the rest of their ilk.

It’s also interesting that people today who make similar statements which, if not quite as eloquent, are at least in the same ballpark – Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Alex Jones, Lee Rogers, to name but a few – are shunned, ignored, ridiculed, and/or vilified.

And, most probably, also very closely watched.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rebels With A Cause

Most people probably won’t be interested in this post, but I can’t help it; I have to tell it anyway.

This year our little Casey County High School “Rebels” girls basketball team made it to the Kentucky State Championship Tournament for only the 2nd time ever in the history of the school.

This is much more significant than you might initially think, because:

- There are 225 high schools in the Commonwealth of Kentucky; only 16 make it to the State Tournament.

- Casey County is a small High School; a graduating class is typically between 80 – 100 students each year.

- Kentucky is a basketball crazy state. For instance, when the University of Kentucky plays a game (even if they aren’t very good), just about everything stops. Streets are deserted, tumbleweeds roll through town, children are left unattended in their strollers . . . okay, that’s a little rich, but you get the picture. People in Kentucky LOVE basketball.

So as you might imagine, it’s a pretty big deal around here that our girls made it to the state tournament. That’s why they were escorted out of town yesterday by a caravan of fire trucks & emergency vehicles with lights flashing and sirens blaring as they headed off to Bowling Green.

And it’s a really big deal (to us, anyway) that last night they won their very first State Tournament game ever.

Final Score – Casey County: 54, Johnson Central: 31

We’re so proud of our girls. Go Rebels!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Trillion Here, A Trillion There . . .

. . . and pretty soon you're talking about real money.

A reader commented yesterday about finding a "visual" for 700 million dollars, or better yet, 3 trillion dollars, since those are some of the numbers being thrown around these days as if they were nothing at all.

I was intrigued by what that might look like myself, and while I didn't find any pictures, I did come across some information that might help put these numbers into at least some sort of perspective. Bear in mind, all of the below are dealing with a single million or billion or trillion; extrapolate the examples as you may need.


A million seconds is 12 days.

A million dollars is equal to a stack of $1,000 bills 4 inches high

(this one is really too easy, isn't it? Let's move on, shall we?)


A billion seconds is 31 years.

A billion dollars is equal to a stack of $1,000 bills 358 feet high.

A billion seconds ago it was 1978.

A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

At an average rate, it would take about 95 years to count to one billion.


A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

A trillion dollars is equal to a stack of $1,000 bills 67.9 miles high. To put that in perspective, you could drive 60 mph for a full hour with this stack laid out on the road next to you and still not reach the end. And remember, these are thousand dollar bills.

If you spent a million dollars a day starting on the day Christ was born, you would not have spent a trillion dollars until the year 2737.

Assuming that a box of Girl Scout cookies is $3.50 and the world population is 6.7 billion, a trillion dollars could buy everyone in the world 42 boxes of cookies.

To cover a trillion kilometers, you would have to go to the moon and back 1,300,718 times, or to the Sun and back 6,684 times, or to Pluto and back (at its closest proximity to Earth) 116 times.

I don't know about you, but even with all that, I'm still having a hard time grasping how big a "trillion" really is. But you know what else? Maybe it's better if we can't really comprehend it after all.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Two Thousand Words

Here's the first thousand . . .

. . . and here's the second:

Any conclusions are your own.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Perfect Storm

Food. Water. Shelter. Clothing. Heat.

When you strip away all of the “like to have’s”, “nice to have’s”, “want to have’s”, and even the “need to have’s”, you’re left with a very finite group called the “must have’s”.

Although our culture has evolved to a point where most people have erroneously expanded this group of “must have’s” to include things like cars, cable TV, and cell phones, if push ever comes to shove, our expectations will be reset very quickly to what the true “must have’s” really are:

Food. Water. Shelter. Clothing. Heat.

I get very interested when I see things “in play” that affect any of the things in this very basic group, so you might imagine my curiosity when I notice several things happening that all affect a single one of them.

In 1997, Sebastian Junger wrote a book called “The Perfect Storm” which chronicled the events of a devastating 1991 Nor’easter in which three separate weather systems converged at a single point off the coast of New England to create a storm of unprecedented magnitude. Since then, the phrase “perfect storm” has come to refer to any simultaneous occurrence of events which, taken individually, would be far less powerful than the result of their chance combination.

Should we be concerned then, if three (or more) separate “events” – each of which already possess huge ramifications on our food supply – have the potential to also converge at a single point?

Speculation (You Can’t Afford the Corporate Food)

We’ve all seen what happens when a commodity becomes involved in a speculative frenzy. Just in the last few years we’ve seen housing & oil prices driven to ridiculous heights based purely on speculation. There was never a “shortage” of either; just a mad dash to drive prices up and cash in as quickly as you could before the bottom dropped out.

What if food became the next commodity to be manipulated by “investors” and “speculators”? What if food prices are the next to be driven up to ridiculous heights for no other reason than to satisfy the greed of corporate America? I’m not talking about profits, I’m talking about obscene profits, much like were made in both housing & oil. There is evidence that we are already on the verge:

Food Is Gold, So Billions Invested in Farming

John Kinsman: Nation's food system nearly broke

Regulation (You Can’t Buy the Local Food)

This is interesting because the regulations being proposed are meant to protect us from “bad” food. I count almost two dozen instances of salmonella & e-coli tainted food in just the last couple of years (tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, peanuts, dog food, milk, etc., etc.).

These regulations are meant to protect us by instituting more stringent rules on food production. But the result of these regulations – which large agribusinesses will be able to meet or cheat easily – will be that many smaller farms will be put out of business, simply because they can’t comply with the new standards.

Funny how all of those instances of tainted food came from the large agribusinesses - not the small independent farmers - yet it is the small farmers who will essentially be punished by the regulations created from the incompetence of corporate America.

FDA asks lawmakers for more regulatory powers

Plot to Control U.S. Food Supply

Termination (You Can’t Grow Your Own Food)

Well, if you can't afford to buy it from the grocery store, and there are no local farmers to buy your food from, you can always grow it yourself, right?

But what if you couldn’t?

Forget that most people have no idea how to grow food. Forget too that most people have no place to grow it even if they did. What if you couldn’t even get seeds to plant, or couldn’t legally grow them if you could?

What if you were forced to purchase new seeds every year because the plants you did grow didn’t create any new seeds at all? What would happen if the owners of these patented seeds decided that they didn't want to make them available to the general public?

Farfetched? Just do a search on “patented seed” and “terminator seed”; you’ll discover more than you ever wanted to know.

That’s just three of the separate “weather systems” floating around that can (will) affect that “must have” known as food. I haven’t even touched on taxation. Or inflation. Or . . .

I wonder what would happen if they all converged together to form one great big perfect storm?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


When my daughters were little, we took them to a store in the mall called “Build-A-Bear” where they could construct their own personalized teddy bear from the ground up. It was cute. It was make-believe. It was harmless.

Or was it?

When I was little, you got the teddy bear that you got. You could choose to have one or not to have one, but you didn’t have a choice of “building” it to suit your own personal tastes.

While I certainly do not think there is anything sinister about “Build-A-Bear”, the concept of it is perhaps not so healthy, as it breeds an expectation – at a very young age – that we should have everything exactly as we want it, right down to the nitty-gritty details. And, of course, “Build-A-Bear” is not the only thing around these days that reinforces that expectation.

What happens when these little kids who have been “trained” (for lack of a better word) to expect things exactly as they want them to be grow up and start dealing with things far more important than a teddy bear? Should we expect that their expectations should suddenly & mysteriously change?

Should we be surprised that they would see nothing wrong at all about “designing” their own children if given the opportunity? Why shouldn’t they be able to choose the sex of their child, pick their eye color, select the shade of their skin, and determine what kind of hair they should have?

After all, they built their own teddy bears. Is this really so different?

Designer baby row over US clinic

I would suggest it is very different, but then again, I never built my own bear. Maybe I just don't get it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Blind Allegiance

About a year ago I wrote a post entitled The Business of Fear that dealt with questions about the U.S. presence in Iraq and the whole “War on Terror” in general. As I was doing a little research for the column, I came across a quote that shocked me not only because of it’s arrogance and blunt truth, but also because of it’s source. The quote is below; do you know who said these words?

“Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece?

“Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a Parliament, or a Communist dictatorship . . .

“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”**

Although the above quote specifically deals with manipulating people to accept, and even embrace, the concept of armed combat, it doesn’t take a genius to see that the concept can also be applied elsewhere.

All you need is a crisis – of any type – and you then have the means to rally the people around a common cause. It makes no difference that the people themselves did not cause the “crisis” in question (they never do, by the way); nor does it matter whether the “crisis” is natural or manufactured. In fact, it doesn’t even matter whether the “crisis” is real at all.

It only matters that the people believe the crisis is real so that their minds are all galvanized in a common unity. After that, each sheep in the herd will follow the others, simply because everyone else is also moving in the same direction.

The destination to which that direction leads is then entirely dependent on the shepherd leading the flock.

An allegiance is a duty of fidelity said to be owed by a subject or a citizen to his/her state or sovereign. Blind allegiance is the acceptance of that obligation without thought, question, or hesitation.

If it’s true that fools rush in where angels fear to tread, I would suggest that with whatever “crisis” we are currently being confronted with, we would do better to think, to question, and to hesitate.

History, should we care to study it, will show us again and again where we can be led if we do not.

Oh, and the source of that quotation? A man who – however despicable he might have been – was certainly in a position to know the truth of what he said: Hermann Goering.

** as told to Gustav Gilbert during the Nuremberg trials